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road sage

Cars and sex go together. It's true. There are only two types of drivers: those who've had sex in their cars and those who are going to have sex in their cars. Yet the car/sex equation is a tad misleading. Everything and sex goes together. That's the immutable bond that has kept our species going throughout history. It's more accurate to maintain that automobiles and sex have a complex, multifaceted relationship.

Today, with Valentine's Day coming up, we sit in the twilight before the dawn of the age of the self-driving vehicle. It's time to ask, how will self-driving vehicles affect the dynamic between romance and the automobile?

Let's begin by examining the automobile's four carnal pillars.

  • We use sex to sell cars.
  • We buy cars we think will make us sexy.
  • We find people who find us sexy and have sex in our cars.
  • We are constantly disappointed that points 1 to 3 never seem to work out satisfactorily.

The third pillar is important. Cars aren't just sex objects – they are erotic destinations. Many people dream of making love in exotic locations, say, on top of Mount Kilimanjaro or on a Tango-level Air Canada flight between Montreal and Winnipeg. What's unique about love in cars is that we do it more than we dream about it. A recent survey of 1,000 Americans ages 21 and over by condom manufacturer Durex found that, while 23 per cent of respondents said they frequently fantasized about sex in a car, 36 per cent had already had sex in a car. It's a matter of opportunity meeting visualization.

The cars don't even have to be parked. Despite its obvious dangers, people are having sex while driving.

A 2014 study of 195 male and 511 female students co-authored by professor Cindy Struckman-Johnson at the University of South Dakota found that 33 per cent of men and 9 per cent of female respondents had been sexually active while driving. They admitted to speeding, lane drifting, letting go of the wheel and almost hitting objects while enjoying Cupid's gift.

And into this hotbed of erotic activity we intend to introduce self-driving cars?

Brace yourself for the Commute of Love.

Experts say we'll have self-driving cars on our roads in five years. Google and Uber are looking into self-driving taxis. We'll almost certainly see self-driving singles bars and brothels. After all, we're already rutting like rabbits in cars we're supposed to be driving with eyes on the road and both hands on the wheel. Self-driving cars will ignite a sexual revolution at 40 km/h.

Then again, making it okay – nay safe – to make love in your automobile may kill the thrill. That has always been the primary attraction between sex and cars. You weren't supposed to do it. For teenagers in the golden age of car sex (approximately 1950-1990), the automobile was essentially a four-wheeled motel room. It was ideal for illicit exchanges of carnal knowledge. The naughty nature of these trips was the romantic fuel. If your dad had thrown you the keys and said, "Hey, if you two get overcome by the heat of passion just pull over and do what comes naturally," all attraction would have been lost. You would have made it to the 7 p.m. showing of Jaws III.

They say automobile manufacturers are having trouble getting millennials to buy cars. I wouldn't worry. When self-driving vehicles hit the market, it's going to be a free-for-all. Rush hour is going to get a whole lot more interesting.

I am hereby predicting a "self-driving" baby boom. You heard it here first.

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